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1.12.09

Blogs don’t give everyone free speech, as Vox blocks me 


Above If logged in as jackyan.vox.com, these are the places where Vox blocks me from composing and exercising my freedom of speech, based on this month’s tests. The tested OSs are across the top, while the ISP name is in the cells.

[Cross-posted] I have to conclude, sadly, that Vox is specifically blocking me from using its site.
   This is so typical of my experience with , one that does not seem to be shared by other people. Am I just good at breaking websites and programs?
   I argue I am not. I simply reveal more bugs because I am online more.
   Today, I set up a new account on Vox under another name and can happily compose there. I won’t, because I don’t believe in using noms de plume. But it has proved that Vox is not letting me have my voice.
   This must be that American irony we have all heard so much about.
   In my years online, I have had Yahoo! Groups delete all the messages from one of my groups, even though there was no TOS violation. reps failed to address the matter. The best they could do was copy and paste from their FAQs, none of which dealt with the situation at hand.
   I have had ’s service delete the home page to the Beyond Branding Blog.
   I have seen the same service delete Vincent Wright’s Social Media Consortium blog and over four years of work. My appeals to Google have fallen on deaf ears. Enquiries submitted in July, August and on September 13—after Google claimed it would investigate the bars on that blog ‘within two business days’—have been ignored. A further enquiry, after following the advice of a blogger who seemed rather well informed about blog deletions on Blogger, has also fallen on deaf ears, despite my following his suggestions to the letter. (He also told me of the two-day rule. I think two days have passed since November 23, but maybe Americans measure time differently after Doc Brown invented time travel in 1955?)
   And now, Vox has barred me, ensuring that, of the last 30 days, it only worked faultlessly for three. I can do everything on the blogging platform except blog, which effectively renders it useless.
   After three years, Vox’s terms of service (updated October 8, 2009) still say that the site is in beta and ‘You understand and agree that the Service may still contain software bugs, suffer disruptions and not operate as intended or designated.’
   I might understand and agree with this, but these bugs are so unreasonable and so darned near intolerable that they do , Vox’s creators, no credit. If it were 2006, I could understand the blog not working. But three years on and its uptime is three days out of thirty when it comes to my use of the service?
   The difference between all of these companies is that Daisy at Six Apart has been communicating with me and showed she cares; none of the other organizations have given a damn.
   But I hardly think I am important enough to be targeted by Vox.
   What this is highlights for me is the collapse of ‘Made in ’. Once we thought this just meant shoddy Chrysler Sebrings. Now it is deteriorating in the tech sector.
   Which can only be good for the rest of us who can build that better mousetrap or, for that matter, a blogging platform that cares.

PS.: I think this might be the last post I tag for Technorati, as I am not sure if anyone still uses that site.—JY
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Note

Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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